Nhu Nguyen xerantheum@gmail.com
Mon, 19 Apr 2010 11:17:44 PDT
Hi Jim,

The tubers you got were most likely grown in New Zealand so when they
arrived in the northern hemisphere they were already sprouting in the
opposite growing season. They are summer growers although only in maritime

Here in coastal California, I plant the tubers in January but they don't
come up until late April-May when the temperature has warmed up
sufficiently. They will grow and bloom in late summer/fall, although the
small yellow flowers aren't anything to write home about. They go dormant in
winter when temperature comes close to freezing. I have not had any issues
keeping them in the pot with lots of rain during their winter dormancy. The
ones I dug up and left in the open air tend to desiccate in a month or two.
Once you harvest the tubers, let them "mature" in the sun for a few days and
you will notice that the red ones will turn very magenta due to the reaction
of anthocyanins with sunlight. The sunning process causes the tubers to turn
starch into sugar so the raw tubers will taste a lot sweeter. I think it's a
waste to cook them since the fresh ones are so deliciously crunchy in

I have also noticed the above ground tubers (
I just plucked them off and store them for the next growing season. These
plants will also produce aerial tubers on the stems. I haven't tried
planting these aerial tubers but I assume that they are vegetative meristems
that can give rise to new plants.

I can't offer any advice for growing them where you are so hopefully what I
said above gave you some clues on cultivation of this interesting species.
Keep us informed of your adventure with ocas.


On Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:54 AM, James Waddick <jwaddick@kc.rr.com> wrote:

>        I'd appreciate any thoughts on what next ? Should I with hold
> water, keep hot and dry or just shaded and dry or un-pot and see
> what's dormant.? Or.? Appreciate experienced suggestions.

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